Erde has many men and women who crave excitement, who seek out danger and take extraordinary risks for what may, or may not, be extraordinary rewards. These people naturally gravitate to professions that can sate their appetites for thrills and adventure. They become soldiers, guards, bounty hunters, criminals, scouts, and explorers. Some of them will find a company to take them on, and they’ll become Erde’s daring mercenaries.
Most major cities have at least one mercenary company that makes its home there. The formation and maintenance of such companies are regulated by law, as set forth in the charter that governs the Mercenaries’ Guild. In this way, certain standards are met, and the roles of mercenary companies, their rights and responsibilities, are defined. For example, companies are required to help defend the cities in which they’re based, but they have to be contracted if they are to be part of an attacking force.
To form a mercenary company requires a group of no less than fifteen persons, all of whom are members of the Mercenaries’ Guild, and are in good standing with that guild. Anyone may apply to become a member of the Mercenaries’ Guild. Acceptance into the guild requires the applicant to pass a test of skills and abilities, after which they are presented with their Letter of Standing. Included in the Letter is a list of the bearer’s talents and relative mastery (apprentice, journeyman, or master), and an endorsement that the bearer is fit and capable of fulfilling contracts.
Most cities have a steep per-person licensing fee for establishing a new company and there are, of course, yearly taxes. Upon formation, the company must declare a permanent base of operations, usually the city in which the company is formed. The company must maintain a minimal residence in that city, though they can apply to other cities for additional residences (with associated licensing fees). The company must also maintain a roster of at least fifteen persons in good standing with the Mercenaries’ Guild. The guidelines for recruiting replacements, including time limits, are vague and vary from place to place. Generally speaking, the company has about three months to find new members if their membership falls below the fifteen-person minimum. Sometimes a company is formed outside the normal parameters, as was the case with the Alley Cats, a group formed by the authority of the Court in Koenigsburg, and which operated strictly under the auspices of the Court.
- Phoenix Company
- Ravensong Company
- The Wind Dancers
This work by Jean Headley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.